Hong Kong, South China Morning Post, Inglês

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The summit, organised by the Talent Engage Office established last year, will be free of charge and streamed online for viewing in other countries.

“Through this summit, we can further promote Hong Kong’s dual role and advantages as an international talent hub and a national talent gateway,” office director Anthony Lau Chun-hon said. “Attendees at the summit will also be able to access the necessary information.”

Newly arrived professional Zheng Nan speaks about the challenges of living in Hong Kong. Photo: May Tse

An international talent forum will be held on the first day, followed by the Greater Bay Area High-quality Talent Development Conference, aimed at highlighting Hong Kong’s distinctive advantages and strengthening cooperation with Guangdong provincial cities and Macau in attracting professionals.

More than 20 heavyweights from political and business sectors as well as the academia have been invited, including city leader John Lee Ka-chiu, MTR Corporation CEO Jacob Kam Chai-pui, LinkedIn Asia managing director Feon Ang and Bank of China (Hong Kong) deputy chief executive Wang Huabin, among others.

Meanwhile, nearly 100 public and private organisations are expected to join the CareerConnect Expo, being held on both days, that seeks to provide attendees with information covering Hong Kong employment, housing, education and financial services. Exhibitors include the Airport Authority and the Hospital Authority, and companies such as Centaline Property, HSBC and China Mobile.

People who had arrived in the city through talent drives were also invited to share their experiences, Lau said.

Official figures showed about 110,000 individuals have arrived in Hong Kong through various talent admission schemes. Of these, the Labour and Welfare Bureau had received more than 77,000 applications under the Top Talent Pass Scheme, and approved nearly 62,000.

Hong Kong attracts 2,000 professionals earning at least HK$10 million annually

Among the new arrivals was Robert Lay, a 41-year-old Cambodian who worked in the banking industry in New Zealand for 17 years and settled in Hong Kong last year with his wife and their two children.

The senior director at a global real estate services firm said his family had always wanted to move back to Asia but struggled in deciding between Hong Kong and Singapore.

“In terms of professional work for me, Hong Kong has access to Greater China,” Lay said. “Hong Kong has been the headquarters for a lot of the key capital markets players. As long as you have the capability to bridge between all of these players, I think it’s definitely the right place to be.”

The type of education available in Hong Kong was another factor in their decision. Their four-year-old daughter and six-year-old son have enrolled in an international school in the city.

Lay said Hong Kong was a better place to nurture children’s strengths, compared with Singapore, which required pupils to excel in every subject.

His wife Emma, who was a banker in New Zealand for more than 10 years and now worked for an asset management firm, said the low income tax rate was another factor in Hong Kong’s favour.

Talent moving to Hong Kong more worried by costs than Article 23 law: Science Park

Zheng Nan, 42, came to the city from Shenzhen last year with her husband who applied under the Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals. She has opened an office at the Science Park providing consulting services and job referrals to start-ups in Shenzhen and Hong Kong.

The human resources professional who worked for Baidu and Tencent in the past two decades said the most challenging part of living in Hong Kong was the language barrier.

“In our daily lives, despite my husband being from Guangzhou, we don’t speak Cantonese in Shenzhen,” Zheng said. “So, when we come here, there can be a slight language barrier in everyday activities such as shopping and ordering food.”

Lau said the office and its partners had organised numerous online and offline events such as seminars and workshops since its launch, revolving around various topics including jobseeking, entrepreneurship, education, housing and adapting to life in Hong Kong.

“Our Cantonese workshops held earlier were highly popular and received great acclaim from our talent in Hong Kong,” he said. “We are planning to host no fewer than 36 related events within this year.”

He added the talent coming to Hong Kong in the past year had been primarily engaged in finance, technology and business sectors.

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